Alex de Minaur suffers crushing birthday blow in 'crazy' Rotterdam drama

The Aussie tennis star took to social media in disappointment after the heartbreaking scenes.

Pictured right, Alex de Minaur looks gutted after letting two match points slip before losing to Grigor Dimitrov at the Rotterdam Open.
Alex de Minaur (R) was gutted after letting two match points slip before losing in the quarter-finals of the Rotterdam Open. Pic: Getty

Alex de Minaur has taken to social media in disappointment after squandering two match points in a heartbreaking quarter-final defeat to Grigor Dimitrov at the Rotterdam Open. The Aussie was handed the most wretched 24th birthday present in the Netherlands after failing to see out victory against the plucky Bulgarian.

De Minaur looked to be on his way to the semi-finals of the ATP 500 indoor event when he held two match points at 6-4 in the decisive final-set tiebreak. The Aussie had a straightforward shot that should have put him in the last-four but miscued his attempted forehand winner and gifted the point to Dimitrov.

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The birthday boy's shot strayed into the tramlines and the World No.28 Dimitrov escaped, going on to eke out the final four points to claim a thrilling 6-3 3-6 7-6 (8-6) win after just over two-and-a-half hours of the most engrossing battle. Dimitrov - showing glimpses of the quality which once had him ranked the third-best player in the game - sealed victory on his first match point chance, to rub further salt into the wounds for de Minaur.

The manner in which the Bulgarian sealed victory was even more gut-wrenching for the Aussie after his opponent conjured up a seemingly impossible whipped forehand pass from the baseline which screamed past de Minaur and clipped the line. It was a deflating end to what had been such a promising week for the Australian No.2, who came so close to a third tremendous win in just three days after being presented with a daunting draw.

Not playing quite as well as when turning over world No.5 Andrey Rublev in his opening-round match, the Sydneysider was ultimately let down by 42 unforced errors. But the real disappointment came after he'd fought back from being outplayed in the first set to put himself in position to set up a semi-final against Daniil Medvedev, who later went on to book his place with a 6-2 6-4 win over defending champ Felix Auger-Aliassime.

"Definitely not the best Birthday present I could’ve had," de Minaur wrote on social media alongside a couple of frustrated emojis. "Still thanks everyone for the Bday wishes." Tennis fans also took to social media to react to the wild finish in Rotterdam, with many expressing sympathy for the vanquished Aussie.

Daniil Medvedev too good for Felix Auger-Aliassime

Medvedev took his record over Auger-Aliassime to 5-0 as he reached the last-four in Rotterdam with a comfortable straight sets win. The Russian hit just five unforced errors to the Canadian's 20 in the 6-2, 6-4 triumph.

"Today was my best match of the week, but I have to build on this," the World No.11 said. Medvedev next faces Dimitrov for a place in the Rotterdam decider.

Seen here, Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacting after beating Felix Auger Aliassime in the Rotterdam quarter-finals.
Russia's Daniil Medvedev reacts after beating Felix Auger Aliassime in the Rotterdam quarter-finals. Pic: Getty

World No.14 Jannik Sinner, who shocked top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets earlier in the week, made the last-four by seeing off three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-3. The 72-minute victory extended Sinner's winning streak to six matches after he also collected the Montpellier title last weekend.

"I just try to play every match with a high intensity, try to play my game, try to adapt myself," Sinner said. "The first round match here was very important for me, then I try to keep going, to get more rhythm. Today I think it was also a good match. It's never easy playing against him, so I'm very happy."

Sinner will next face Dutch wild card Tallon Griekspoor who downed compatriot and World No.160 Gijs Brouwer 6-4, 6-4.

with agencies

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